Lorsqu’on achète un bien immobilier en France, il est crucial de comprendre les diagnostics immobiliers. Dans cet article, nous explorons les diagnostics immobiliers obligatoires et facultatifs en France. Bien que cela puisse être difficile à expliquer aux clients non francophones, cet article vous fournit les outils nécessaires pour le faire en anglais. Des mots clés notés avec (*) vous aideront à enrichir votre vocabulaire anglais. Une traduction de ces mots est disponible à la fin de l’article.

Property diagnostic surveys in France

Vendors in France are obligated by law to conduct a series of diagnostic surveys, these surveys are often more comprehensive than the ones conducted by their British and American counterparts. The surveys collectively form the Technical Diagnostic File (Dossier de Diagnostic Technique) or DDT, this is an extensive* report that is attached to a preliminary contract (compromise de vente). Notaires that administer property sales must ensure compliance in line with all these requirements.

The role of a real estate diagnostician

A real estate diagnostician has the responsibility to ensure that buildings comply* with current health, safety, and environmental requirements in line with the Technical Diagnostic File (DDT). A property diagnostician must meet three legal requirements. To begin with, they must have the appropriate expertise and tools to perform their tasks. This criteria is reviewed and assessed on a regular basis through mandatory certification. They must also be able to exhibit* complete independence and impartiality in dealing with owners, property professionals, and construction businesses. They must also be insured for professional responsibility.

Want to learn more about the role of a real estate diagnostician and their obligations? Check out https://www.economie.gouv.fr/dgccrf/obligations-professionnelles-des-diagnostiqueurs-dans-secteur-limmobilier-et-logement for relevant information 

The real estate diagnostics technician typically intervenes during real estate transactions but also when regulations mandate it

Guideline to what is included in a diagnostic Surveys (DTT)

The DDT consists of lead and asbestos inspections, fungal or beetle infestation of any woodwork, and the DPE test for electricity consumption and insulation amongst others.

Diagnostic Performance Energétique (DPE): Energy efficiency studies, include information on the amount of insulation and other variables impacting heating expenses, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Evaluation on a property’s energy efficiency are required for all property transactions in France and often a property’s energy rating would appear on property listings.

Waste Water Drainage (Assainissement Non Collectif): This assessment is essential for homes with individual septic tank systems. Upon a successful completion of the report, verification of compliance with regulations and functionality is obtained. Non-compliance may require corrective actions to be taking within a year of purchase.

Termites, Fungal, and Insect Larvae Related Damage (Termites/Etat Parasitaire): This assessment is often recommended for older properties as opposed to newer ones. It focuses on woodwork structure and related issues due to termite and fungal damage that may have been endured over a period of time. The termite section is only required in a few restricted regions. Nonetheless*, completing the Parasite section(Etat Parasitaire) is advised for all buildings older than 25 years.

Asbestos (Amiante): This evaluation is compulsory for all houses granted planning permission prior to July 1997, this report identifies asbestos-containing materials and provides guidance on management and removal if necessary.

Lead (Plomb): This is mandatory for homes constructed before January 1, 1949, this survey focuses on lead paintwork, identifying lead presence and levels.

Gas (Gaz) and Electricity (Electricité): For gas installations over 15 years old, the Gas Diagnostic Certificate (Un état de l’installation intérieure de gaz naturel) is required to detect any safety concerns with the gas system. The seller must advise the buyer about electrical safety hazards, and any installation older than 15 years must be evaluated.

For more information on this topic https://www.frenchentree.com/french-property/diagnostic-and-property-surveys-in-france/

Natural Risks (Etat des Risques Naturels et Technologiques, ERNT): A notaire can advise if a property is in a region prone to flooding, landslides, or other natural hazards such as seismic or earthquake. This report exists to inform the buyer of the hazards in the region, it does not state whether or not a property has experienced difficulties caused by these circumstances.

Certificate of Surface Area (Loi Carrez): This certificate is only necessary if you are selling a flat in a « shared » property (Copropriété), and it indicates the size of the property you are purchasing.

Timeline for completion of Diagnostic Evaluations

Diagnostic surveys are conducted prior to the signing of the (Compromis de Vente), which is an important point in the property transaction. The seller is responsible for completing these surveys, and the notaire ensures that they are completed properly before the final Acte de Vente (deed of sale) is signed.

The importance of Diagnostic Evaluations

While diagnostic examinations in France are thorough, they do not cover everything and additional surveys can be carried out in addition to this. Irrespective of this, they are still quite useful in certain situations:

Renovation or Expansion: If you intend to renovate, expand, or rebuild portions of your property, a surveyor may advise you on the feasibility, prices, and timescales.

Concerns About Structural Soundness, Dampness, or Drainage: If you are concerned about structural soundness, dampness, or drainage concerns, or if you are buying an older home, a diagnostics of the building can be quite useful in determining the root cause for any of issues.

Property diagnostics and the essential role they play in real estate transactions.

Property diagnostics are an important part of buying a home in France. While mandated diagnostic evaluations give critical information, supplementary surveys for special requirements should also be considered. 

Traduction des mots notés*

Extensive – Étendu

Comply – Se conformer

Exhibit – Exposition

Nonetheless- Néanmoins

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